Wyatt Earp (1994)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BB.5

USA, 1994.   Warner Bros., Tig Productions, Kasdan Pictures, Eaves Movie Ranch, Paragon Entertainment Corporation.   Screenplay by , Lawrence Kasdan.  Cinematography by .   Produced by , Lawrence Kasdan, .   Music by .   Production Design by .   Costume Design by .   Film Editing by .   

Bloated epic on the life of the man who cleaned up Tombstone, Arizona. Kevin Costner gives a bland performance that barely carries the three hour running time as Wyatt Earp, who was driven to attempt suicide by the death of his young wife () only to end up a lawman in Dodge City and later Tombstone. When he’s not shooting people, he spends a lot of time grunting with his brothers about other family clans and their no-good ways, later befriending the loudmouthed Doc Holliday (, who steals the whole show) and has the big, historic (and I’m sure largely fictionalized) showdown at the OK Corral. Fans of westerns won’t get much out of it as the pace is completely uneven and the running time completely ridiculous; director Lawrence Kasdan includes more characters and situations than he knows what to do with. It looks beautiful, with superb cinematography by Owen Roizman and detailed costume and set work, but the best characters (Quaid and feisty ) are given too little screen time in favour of the emotionally invisible Costner. Also features great supporting work by Isabella Rossellini (underused as well), Mare Winningham, , , , a wonderful  and a unnecessarily high-billed Gene Hackman.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Cinematography

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